Parental Rights and Responsibilities was formerly referred to as “Custody” proceedings in Colorado. If you are going through a divorce, parental rights and responsibilities will be determined through that proceeding and everything will be handled together.
If you are unmarried, custody is determined by filing a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities with the court. In order to file a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities the children must reside in Colorado for at least six (6) months prior to the filing. The opposing party will then have twenty-one (21) days to respond to the Petition if the Petition was not filed jointly. A Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities proceeding will typically cover many issues, such as paternity, child support, parenting time determinations, decision-making, and health insurance.
Sometimes parents come to mutual agreements regarding parenting time and all other issues. In that case, a joint parenting plan can be filed with the court and your case could be over relatively quickly. In other cases where parties do not agree, the process may be more in depth. A Child and Family Investigator, who will act as a neutral third-party professional, may be appointed if you cannot agree on certain issues regarding your children.
When going through a custody battle, it is important to get legal representation right away as often times judges enter preliminary orders along the way which may be difficult to get reversed. Even if you plan to reach an agreement, you may want to have a knowledgeable attorney representing you who can insure that your agreement is enforceable in the future and contains all of the necessary provisions. Contact us today to discuss your case.